(MENAFN - Jordan Times) New identification (ID) cards to be introduced on August 15 will not be compulsory for citizens whose IDs are still valid, a Civil Status and Passports Department (CSPD) official said on Monday.
CSPD Director Marwan Qteishat said Jordanians who renew their expired ID cards after mid-August will be issued the upgraded cards, which are made of a new material, feature a new design and include information in English.
"We will not force anyone to replace their identification cards, unless they have expired," Qteishat told The Jordan Times, adding that the new material is more durable than the one used in current IDs.
He explained that personal information in English was introduced to help Jordanians who travel abroad.
"Travellers can use their passports in airports and carry their ID cards wherever they go in the destination country in case they are asked for identification," Qteishat noted.
Revamping the design of the ID cards is part of the department's plan to upgrade all official documents, according to the CSPD official.
"We have already changed the designs of passports, family books, and birth, marriage and divorce certificates, while the ID cards currently in use were introduced in 1995," Qteishat said.
He also noted that those who hold valid IDs but want to replace them with the new ones can do so.
"The fees for issuing a new card is JD2, regardless if a person's card has expired or not," he said, adding that currently there are 4.5 million Jordanians holding ID cards.
Meanwhile, Qteishat said the department already has computerised lists of all citizens over 18 years old, which will be submitted to the Independent Elections Commission (IEC) as soon as the Elections Law is published in the Official Gazette.
He also added that the revamped ID cards have no relation with upcoming parliamentary elections, as the IEC is the only party authorised to issue specifications for the cards that will be used for the polls.
Last week, IEC President Abdul Ilah Khatib said the commission would issue voting identification cards to all eligible voters.